It’s no secret that people of color don’t command the narratives in mainstream media. As my fellow Blerds know, this is especially true in Science Fiction & Fantasy. It’s all too common that our on-screen representation is reduced to the role of the sidekick, the comic relief, or the first character to die. When we’re not expected to aid the main characters in their journeys of self-realization or play minuscule parts in saving the universe, we’re forced to watch as Hollywood takes the “color” in POC literally, erasing race in favor of alien characters with blue and purple skin. We’ve known for years that this simply isn’t good enough.
Today, thanks to the ever-changing social landscape and our ability to self-produce media, people of color are not only introducing Sci-Fi/Fantasy-centered content with our faces and perspectives, they’re building beyond the gatekeepers that have held roles from us for decades. The smart, witty and talented Reagan Gomez-Preston, who you may know from hit sitcoms like The Parent ‘Hood, The Cleveland Show and Love That Girl, has announced a new webseries that focuses on people of color in a post-apocalyptic universe.
Surviving The Dead tells the story of Shayla, a woman of color working as a nurse when a virus sweeps through her city. With her life in the balance and the future of her city uncertain, she flees with her younger sister for safety. As the story continues, Shayla learns that the virus will not only continue to spread, but that her knowledge of it will make her a target to her father – who she suspects is involved somehow – and the government.
In an industry where post-apocalypse storylines usually follow a lily-white population fending for survival, Gomez and her talented team unapologetically answer the question of how the future unfolds for people of color in the face of disaster. This venture will be Gomez’s third webseries and follows the success of Almost Home. Her production company has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund pre- and post-production of Surviving The Dead’s first season. The campaign will run through October 17, 2014.
For more information and updates on Surviving The Dead, you can follow Reagan Gomez-Preston on Twitter @ReaganGomez.